Latest articles


Painting sow Pigcasso hogs the limelight

South African swine has carved out a career as a commercially successful painter

Step aside Francis Bacon. Brandishing a paintbrush in her snout, Pigcasso enthusiastically tosses her head to create bright, bold strokes across a canvas propped up in her sty. The sow was rescued from an abattoir as a piglet and brought to an animal sanctuary in Franschhoek, in South Africa’s Western Cape region in 2016, where […] Read more


African swine fever hits huge, foreign-invested Chinese farm

Despite government claims to the contrary, little progress in containing the disease is apparent

Reuters – China reported an outbreak of deadly African swine fever on a huge pig farm part owned by a Danish investment fund, showing the spread of the virus to modern industrial farms expected to have the best levels of disease prevention. The outbreak occurred on a farm in Suihua city with 73,000 pigs in […] Read more



The many facets of drought

Drought has effects that ripple through the supply chain

Manufacturers may start reducing wool content in clothing By Jonathan Barrett Yennora, Australia | Reuters Auctioneer Ian Sharp has been selling Australian agricultural products to the highest bidder since 1968, and he’s never seen demand like this before. Earlier this year, the benchmark price for fine Australian merino wool gained a foothold above the once […] Read more


Maple Leaf quarterly profit beats estimates

Higher prices, growing demand have positively affected the balance sheet

Maple Leaf Foods posted a fourth-quarter profit Feb. 21 that beat estimates, due to better pricing and high demand for its prepared meats and plant-based protein foods. The company, one of Canada’s biggest pork processors, is focusing on expanding into new businesses in the United States. Its latest acquisition was the US$120-million purchase of vegan […] Read more



U.S. weather forecaster sees La Niña chances at 65-75 per cent

The Climate Prediction Center is just the latest in a list of international forecasters to make this observation

A U.S. government weather forecaster has added its voice to a growing chorus calling for La Niña conditions to continue through the winter. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast pegged the chance of La Niña developing at about 65 per cent to 75 per cent […] Read more





Floods and farms fuel jump in methane emissions — researchers

Microbial sources of methane emissions are seen as the most likely source and are common to wetlands and farming

A sharp increase in methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in the Earth’s atmosphere since 2007 is the result of higher emissions from biological sources such as rice paddies, cattle and swamps rather than fossil fuels, researchers recently announced. Methane traps heat, contributing to global warming. In 2014 the growth rate of methane in the atmosphere […] Read more



Climate change could cross key threshold in a decade — scientists

Exceeding global warming targets could mean drastic action is necessary

The planet could pass a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, prompting accelerating loss of glaciers, steep declines in water availability, worsening land conflicts and deepening poverty, scientists said last week. Last December, 195 nations agreed to try to hold world temperature rise to “well below” 2 C, with an aim of […] Read more


Murders, violence on the rise as parched central India battles for water

Water shortages are prompting people to move to other regions to find water and food

Imrat Namdev and her younger sister Pushpa Namdev were neighbours in Chhatarpur district, in the drought-hit Indian region of Bundelkhand. Both relied on the same well for water and, according to police, frequently quarrelled over how much the other was using. In May, during one fight over water, Pushpa, 42, beat Imrat, 48, with a […] Read more